SEASIDE — When you’ve got a date with destiny, things just have a way of working out. Miracle shots have a way of falling, and no deficit is large enough that it can’t be overcome. In the end, you just can’t keep a great team down.
That’s the case with the 2017-18 Seaside boys basketball team.
The Gulls pulled another miracle out of the hat Friday at home, where Seaside scored a wild, 57-50 double overtime victory over Valley Catholic.
A week ago, the Gulls were in third place and two games behind league-leading Banks.
All of sudden, the ball is in Seaside’s court (literally), and the Gulls have an inside track to the Cowapa League title.
The No. 2-ranked Gulls are now just one game behind the No. 1-ranked Braves, who play at Seaside Feb. 15 to finish the regular season, in a game likely to decide the league championship.
And should the Gulls go on to defend their state title, they will have two Chase Januik 3-pointers to thank for it. Both shots came in a 29-second span in the first overtime of Friday’s game.
Januik’s desperation 3-pointer at the end of the first overtime tied the game at 46-46, and the Gulls won it at the free throw line in the second overtime, making 8-of-10 foul shots in the final 1:30.
After trailing early, 12-7, Seaside rallied and had the game well in hand by halftime with a 24-17 lead, with Januik scoring 13 of his game-high 21 points in the first half.
Duncan Thompson had back-to-back scores to open the second half, and knocked down a 3-pointer for a commanding 33-23 lead.
But the Valiants rallied to within 36-35 with 4:35 remaining in the game, and a turnaround jumper by Jack Grasberger with 25 seconds left tied it at 39-39, sending the game to overtime.
And Valley Catholic had things seemingly locked up with 30 seconds remaining in the extra frame, leading 46-40.
But Januik — who may just keep the state 4A Player of the Year award in the family (older brother Jackson won the last two) — knocked down a 3-pointer with 29 seconds left.
“We’re down 46-40, then Chase hits a three from the angle,” said Seaside coach Bill Westerholm, who had a great view of the shot. “Then we called a time out and put on a little full court press, and ended up fouling (Ben) Robbins.”
And — another break — Robbins missed both free throws. And the Gulls still had 15 seconds to work with.
With four seconds left, Januik got off a 3-point attempt and missed, but he was able to get his own rebound.
He raced back to the 3-point line, and from the left corner, calmly made the game-tying trey as time expired.
“Chase got the rebound five or six feet from the baseline, took a little spin, jump and a funny hop and hit the fadeaway,” Westerholm said. “We got lucky. Those don’t happen very often. It was a big shot in a big moment, and if there’s any guy I would want taking that shot, it’s Chase.”
Valley Catholic had a brief 48-46 lead in the second overtime, before the Gulls came back and scored nine of their 11 points on free throws to secure the win.
The Valiants were plagued by foul trouble, with Jack Tetzloff and Andrew Plambeck eventually fouling out.
“Plambeck fouled out with only four points,” Westerholm said of Valley Catholic’s 6-foot-5 guard. “We played defense very well. We were a little bothered by their 1-3-1 (zone defense), but we’ll get that fixed by the next time we see them.”